Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

Plan to fail

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Sleep a little. Doze a little. Fold your hands and twiddle your thumbs. Suddenly, everything is gone, as though it had been taken by an armed robber.—Proverbs 6:10-11 (CEV)

Most of the United States is suffering through the WINTER OF ARCTIC DEATH WILL DESTROY YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES 2010 (I like coming up with names for natural disasters). We are no exception. Since we got home from vacation on Sunday, we’ve been working the furnace non-stop trying to keep the house warm. This will be great for our gas bill, especially since I didn’t plan ahead this fall and try to winterize the house. There are plenty of windows around here where there are cracks in the caulk, and we usually also put clear plastic over the windows to insulate them (since our builder decided to use windows as thin as cardboard).

In October, the company that does our HVAC service at home called me to say that our service plan was up and would I like to renew? I said no, partly because I was annoyed that they called me on the last day to tell me, and partly because I figured I would do what I always do–wait until the furnace got sick, make the call, and then ask for the service plan. What’s going on at home right now? You guessed it… the furnace is getting sick while it’s 5 degrees outside.

I’m the last person to go all Dave Ramsey on you and lecture you about financial peace, but stuff breaks down, and it’s good to have a rainy day fund to take care of it. You can’t just suddenly go without a refrigerator or a water heater if any of those high-ticket items go belly up. A friend of mine talked about this recently when we bought our new washing machine… it’s good to have a reserve to draw from when times get tough.

When you fail to plan ahead, you plan to fail. As trite and cliché as it sounds, it’s true. The times you are going through trials are not the times to prepare your faith and strengthen it. You need to prepare ahead of time during the times of peace and rest and calmness. Don’t say that you don’t have any, because you do, and even if you don’t, then maybe you need to get rid of something to make time for it.

The times of rest are when you need to reflect and remind yourself of what God has done for you, build up your faith and trust in His promises, and remember where He has intervened in your life in those times of trouble, when He rescued you from some kind of imminent danger, when He provided for you when you had nothing… otherwise, when the furnace breaks down, you’re going to freak out and light your hair on fire to keep warm.

Any thoughts or advice on the topic of planning ahead? Leave them in the comments.

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